Yesterday, in our report on H1Z1’s plummeting player numbers since the onslaught from PUBG and Fortnite, we mentioned that the game’s launch, once planned for 2016, had been canceled and indefinitely delayed. And Daybreak didn’t launch it in late 2017, when it split the game’s branding.
But Daybreak may be preparing for a real launch at last. Friend of the site Babagra.pl pointed out to us that during Friday’s livestream, Daybreak showed off a season one screen and suggested there “won’t be any more pre-seasons.” That could just be a segue into the “Royalty Showdown” event that’s going on today, as the top 75 players from the 7th preseason will compete (the first event starts today at 1 p.m. EST). Or it could mean the game is finally preparing to launch.
In the meantime, the studio’s just rolled out a ton of big changes to the test server, including pre-match spawn selection timeouts, full-heal consumables, and new loot crate rewards for winning matches.
Polygon has a report out this afternoon sourcing data aggregator GitHyp, both of which are casting doubt on H1Z1’s future viability as a game and as a professional e-sport.
Daybreak-watchers will recall that last autumn, the MMO company dropped the King of the Kill branding from H1Z1 and the H1Z1 branding from Just Survive, splitting the two games up amidst a push for a China launch and a new pro league. In October 2017, we were already eyeing H1Z1’s falling playerbase numbers in comparison to PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’s meteoric rise – even at the time, H1Z1’s peak concurrency had fallen a full third since August.
That trend has unfortunately continued, according to GitHyp, which now says the game has lost 91% of its players since its July peak. Steam Charts suggests the drop-off is almost that bad too.
If you were lucky enough to get a particularly high-tier weapon in Just Survive, you probably like the game’s various weapon tiers, because it lets you stand out further. As a result, you might not like the game’s latest test patch, which removes the lower tiers of weapons and armor while also adding in an upgrade system for higher tiers. On the other hand, if you’d been stuck without a decent weapon, you’ll probably be happy about the efforts made to balance things out slightly.
Armor in particular should scale up less aggressively, so hopefully players with excellent armor will no longer laugh off attacks in PvP by players with lower-quality weapons. The test patch also fixes various bugs and alters the HP of container items, making them easier to destroy. You can patch up and start testing the update now, if you’re so inclined.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta Online, Worlds Adrift, Monster Hunter World, Hellion, Rust, Skyforge, Blade and Soul, Portal Knights, Final Fantasy XI, Dreadnought, PUBG, Hyper Universe, Crossout, Black Desert, Dark and Light, H1Z1, Dauntless, Robocraft, Fortnite, War of Rights, Cosmos Invictus, Ultima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!
A comprehensive balancing and adjustment patch hit Just Survive’s test server this week with dozens of changes for the zombie survival sandbox. There is no one tentpole feature but rather plenty of smaller tweaks dealing with nails, headshots, spawn rates, zombie pathing, and faster stamina regeneration.
The team explains its focus for this patch: “Our first priorities at the moment are addressing issues related to body simulation, ammunition availability, and construction costs. This update includes stamina system changes from this feedback. We will have additional survey-driven changes in thursday’s update, and additional changes in the following week.”
Right now Daybreak is taking player feedback concerning the armor and weapon tiers for a future patch, asking how the studio might make it more palpable for the entire community. Good luck with that, Daybreak.
The next update for Just Survive is up for testing, and it’s all about raiding bases. Not just in the sense of encouraging you to do so, though; the patch improves construction mechanics by adding another tier of materials and allowing you an easier time building things. It also makes it harder to besiege and destroy structures, so it’ll take more effort for people to break down your walls and blow up your hard-built structures.
Construction costs have also been reduced, along with several other balance changes meant to improve the overall raiding environment. You’ll also have an easier time fueling your raiding ventures with craftable Yeast to lead into plenty of Ethanol. Check out the full list of changes on the test server on the official site, which should force more of a risk-reward analysis when setting out to raid the structures of other players within the environment.
Well here is something that we learned today: the meaning of ENAS. If you’re not deep into the PvP shooter scene, the East North American Strafe is “a method of movement that involves moving your mouse back and forth rapidly while running forward and strafing to make yourself extremely difficult to be shot by other players” that is especially prevalent in H1Z1.
And because the developers see ENAS as straddling the line between skill play and exploit, they are attempting a solution to artificially counter it and level the playing field so everyone doesn’t look and act like jittery deer.
Daybreak’s fix here is a “movement modifier” that kicks in when a player starts juking the mouse rapidly. If the system detects rapid mouse movement (due to ENAS), it reduces a player’s speed and makes him or her easier to hit. Additionally, all movement speed in the game is being slightly lowered. The studio will be trying out this system and tweaking the penalty on the test server before bringing it over to live.
Has the pace of news moved so quickly that we’ve already forgotten about Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene’s statement that video games lack any IP copyright protection? Because that was really ridiculous. Especially since what he was referring to was not actually even remotely related to copyright, but covered something that would be handled via patent. And even that wouldn’t have worked!
Of course, you can’t really blame him. By which I mean you can totally blame him, but it’s a common misconception that turns up time and again. People talk about copyright, trademark, and patent issues in the same general melange of “this company owns this,” and the thing is that they’re related terms and concepts that nevertheless mean very, very different things.
Last week on Reddit, an EVE Online player begged CCP to organize a wall of shame for botters – essentially an online list of those caught cheating, with character names and corps to boot. This, he argued, would not only prove to the community that cheaters were being banned but allow players to “self-police” those corps “actively harbouring bots.”
You’re probably making a face right now imagining just what EVE players might do with such a list, but then again, we’re talking about botters here. I’m more curious whether you folks actually believe those are effective or a good idea in general. Several EVE players said it’d never happen because of European laws, but in fact we’ve written articles about multiple MMO studios naming-and-shaming cheaters: Guild Wars 2, Riders of Icarus, H1Z1, Tree of Savior, and Mechwarrior Online, just to name the first five I found by searching the last three years of our own site.
Is “naming-and-shaming” MMO cheaters with a “wall of shame” a good idea, or should studios that famously ban the wrong people maybe stay away from painting targets on customers’ backs?
Yes. There is indeed a yeti with a sniper rifle in the header. Let us all pretend that he doesn’t exist and he might not target us for destruction. His attention is no doubt preoccupied by Just Survive’s January 16th update, which begins with a full wipe and hopefully goes uphill from there.
Don’t get your hopes up too much for a major content patch, however, because this update is mostly about “bugs and fair play.” Probably the elimination of the former and the support of the latter. Daybreak announced that it has made significant improvements to the game’s anti-cheat system and fixed a dupe exploit.
“While we were initially hoping to push this update out without requiring a wipe, escalating abuse of the exploits fixed within indicated that it would be best for our players to wipe out the unfair advantage that these abusers had gained through cheating,” said Daybreak.
A content update is on the way “several weeks” from now with a new tier of construction, raid re-balancing, and the upgrade system.
This is, bar none, the column I hate doing most on a regular basis. None of the games I highlight in here is something that I actually like pointing to; they’re games that people like, games that may very well be someone’s absolute favorites, and yet they’re also games where the future looks difficult if not outright bad. A cloudy future is never a good thing, and this particular column does not make it all right.
But we’re still here in the early days of 2018, and that means it’s still the right time to look at the games we might not see around next year. For various reasons, these are the games that already look like they’re in trouble, instead of absolute face-shattering surprises like a couple of the shutdowns last year.
With 2017 officially over and done, Steam’s taking a moment to report on its best-selling games over the course of the whole year. While there are no specifics shared as to which title sold how many copies, Valve does roughly rank games according to overall sales.
In the “platinum” category are several familiar online titles, including ARK: Survival Evolved, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, Warframe, and Dota 2.
Moving down into “gold,” we find Elder Scrolls Online crowing happily. “Silver” sellers mark Conan Exiles, Black Desert Online, War Thunder, and Path of Exile among the third-tier titles. The list is rounded out with other MMOs and MOBAs like Paladins, Elite: Dangerous, and The Division.
Steam’s Winter Sale, which contains many of these games and more, is ending on January 4th.
A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.
There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!